The first day of 2015 marks 100 days of India’s spacecraft orbiting Mars. The orbiter, named Mangalyaan, was successfully inserted into the red planet’s orbit on September 24, 2014, mkaing India the first nation to achieve such the milestone on its first attempt.
A spokesperson for the Indian Space Research Organisation, or Isro, said the satellite is performing normally. The space agency will hold a seminar later today to analyse lessons learnt and the achievements from the mission so far.
The Mars mission, which was primarily a technological one, is India’s first interplanetary mission to the planet. India is the first Asian country, and Isro the fourth space agency, to successfully send a satellite to Mars.
The orbiter craft has been designed to orbit Mars in an elliptical orbit. One of its main objectives is to develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission.
India’s mission has been lauded also for its low price tag of $ 74 million, or about a fourth of NASA’s, which means more countries could likely turn to India for help in placing their satellites.
The Chandrayaan-1 – India’s first unmanned moon probe – cost $ 79 million and was launched to map the moon’s surface and look for precious metals.